Higher cap helps some veteran players

March, 5, 2014
Mar 5
3:00
PM ET
Before the NFL increased the salary cap from $123 million to $133 million, the Cowboys were nearly $25 million over it.

The increase allows the Cowboys to possibly save some the jobs of some veteran players.

Backup center Phil Costa turned down a paycut from the franchise to create cap space. Normally when that happens, a team will release a player and Costa's potential release creates $1.5 million in space.

Costa is due a $500,000 bonus in the first week of the new league year which starts next week. So his status could be determined pretty quickly. The Cowboys have some options here from trading him to cutting him.

Veteran linebacker Justin Durant, who struggled with injuries last season, creates $1.250 million in savings if he's released but the increased salary cap space could secure his status on the roster.

Starting right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau might get his contract restructured to lower his salary cap number. His base salary is $2.7 million for 2014 with a cap number of $4.074 million.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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